Creative Partnerships

Serving God . . . and Great Coffee

Caleb and Kitty Leung

Three years ago, not a lot was making sense for Caleb and Kitty Leung. First, Caleb had been laid off from his job as a school social worker. Kitty, an oil and gas reservoir engineer, then found out she was pregnant with their first child. Two weeks after that, she lost her job, too.

They did know a few things: for one, they loved God. They wanted to serve Him creatively. And they were passionate about good coffee. Caleb had even received some professional training in the art of roasting beans.

(Photo: Alan Hood)

Today, the couple believe God was forcing their hand to take the biggest risk of their lives: sinking their life savings and some borrowed money into opening a shop and roastery near downtown Calgary.

Sought & Found Coffee Roasters barely survived its first year, 2018. Then, this February, during the shop’s worst financial month yet, the Starbucks across the street closed after 21 years. Suddenly, many of Starbucks’ neighbourhood customers were now coming to Sought & Found. March 2019 was their first month with a positive balance.

The Leungs attribute the turnaround to God’s timing.

“One year ago, we would not have known how to handle it,” Caleb says. “Every day we learn so much and every day we see that God is building our capacity to handle more and more.”

A “chance” connection to Wycliffe proved beneficial to both. The Leungs are friends with Samuel Ko, who works at Wycliffe as a system application analyst. Last year, Samuel put them in touch with Daniel Genest, director of development, who was finding coffees from different parts of the world and then talking with partners about Bible translation projects in those areas, in an event called “Grounds for Translation.”

“I said, if there’s a specific country you’re looking for, we could bring in some samples from the green bean buyers and then we would be able to support this mission of yours,” Kitty says. “It was going to be something small.”

“But then it evolved.”

Daniel was looking for gifts to give attendees at Wycliffe’s 50th anniversary event, and coffee seemed like an instant conversation starter for people to share with friends and family. Sought & Found was able to get high-quality, rare beans from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)—a focus region for Wycliffe for partnerships in translation work. Caleb roasted the beans and they sold the coffee to Wycliffe for a low price.

"We’re going to use this gift to serve Him."

“It’s one of the things we are OK with,” Caleb says. “It covers the cost and gives us joy to do it.”

For the roastery, this was their first high-volume order.

“They wanted to help us, too,” Kitty says. “They knew we were a little start-up. We wanted to do something for God. We didn’t know what we could do. And so they just blessed us with this opportunity.”

The Leungs hope to sell the DRC coffee in their shop soon, with proceeds going to Wycliffe.

“We are so happy and so grateful that we could be a part of this,” Kitty says. “We might not be called to be missionaries at this stage in our lives, but if we free ourselves up, God would use us to be involved in this work.”

 Caleb agrees.

“Kitty and I both see that as the direction God wants us to grow in,” he says. “He doesn’t want us to just grow a business, to make more and more money. He wants us to have the capacity to do more meaningful work, to be involved in His work around the world through coffee. Coffee is our expertise, it’s our tool, it’s the gift that God gave us. And we’re going to use this gift to serve Him.”

 

Would you like to explore a creative partnership with Wycliffe, to help advance the work of Bible translation? Contact development@wycliffe.ca.

Subscribe

Like what you’re reading? Then don’t miss an issue. Subscribe to be notified when the next issue is published.

Already a subscriber? Login here

Next Story

Watchword

Expert: World Loses 9 Languages a Year